Stephen Goff wants to understand the replication of retroviruses and the interactions between viral and host proteins that occur during that process. Goff and his team primarily study two retroviruses: the Moloney murine leukemia virus and the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). A major focus of their work is the loading of histones on retroviral DNA and the silencing of viral expression. The team is also characterizing a retroviral element associated with a clonally contagious leukemia-like disease in the mollusk Mya arenaria, the soft-shell clam. The team employs a variety of approaches in their investigations, including molecular genetics, biochemistry, the two-hybrid system, and genetic screens in mammalian cell culture.